Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 496 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev 0%
Sampled at the Batch 3 Rosso release as part of an Eclipse tasting; huge thanks to Thorpe429, ChrisPro, callmemickey, rlmartin, corey70, and starrdogg for making this possible!
A: Black with dark brown glints; thin, soft layer of fine brown head. Attractive, but not quite as good as a couple of the others in the series.
S: Evil Williams really brings the vanilla. Tons of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and almost citrusy sweetness. Very nice indeed.
T: Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, booze, coffee, and more vanilla. Sweet, boozy and tasty.
M: Smooth medium-to-full body with moderate, soft carbonation. Pleasant.
O: Yet another great bourbon barrel variant in the impeccably awesome Eclipse series, EW is by far the sweetest and booziest (the '10 HH Rye might have been a trifle hotter, though), but that doesn't mean it's any less tasty. I think I preferred it slightly to the 4R, but both Pappy and EC absolutely blow it away. In any other company this would be a top-notch BA stout, but in this crazy tasting it's clearly second-tier - and I feel damned lucky to be able to say that.
05-15-2011 23:00:26 | More by woosterbill
3.5/5 rDev -19.2%
Bottle, next to the Elijah Craig, Pappy Van Winkle, Brandy, Four Roses Eclipse bottles, and some other barrel aged imperial stouts. This was consumed toward the end of the tasting and my notes are horrible, but I trust my judgment at that time: Fairly small head. Slightly better than 4 Roses. Coconut Sugars." To try to expand on that, if possible, it was probably the best of the three 2010 Eclipse bottles (PVW not included as that was 2008), but was still quite a bit under the 2009 bottles. The 2010 bottles all seemed fairly sugary and under attenuated.
05-10-2011 01:59:27 | More by JAXSON
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left patchy, sudsy trails of lace on the glass.
S - Amazing aroma of oak, wood and vanilla notes. Some chocolate and burnt molasses aromas.
T - It tasted of vanilla, wood, oak and cola. There was some nice chocolate, toffee and molasses.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.
O - This is a fabulous brew. Outstanding aroma and flavor. Really great beer. Thanks for sharing, drfabulous!
05-10-2011 01:17:44 | More by zeff80
4.25/5 rDev -1.8%
Snagged this in a trade a DLD.
A- Pours a black color with a pretty tiny brown head. Head becomes a ring of bubbles around the edge and leaves a bit of lacing.
S- Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, molasses, and a bit of wood.
T- Very roasted, with sweet chocolate, molasses, wood flavor, and bit of bourbon.
M- Pretty smooth feel to it. Full in body and low carbonation.
O- Very nice to drink. I'm try to get some of the others.
05-03-2011 02:05:43 | More by nrbw23
3.95/5 rDev -8.8%
Thanks to Nicks6217 for providing this for me.
Bottle #417 Bomber poured into a tulip
A-- Poured a deep, dark cola color. Settled black. Very little head with this. A dark mocha colored head that at best was a 1/4 inch high and went quickly to film and strips of milk chocolate. On swirling got a half a finger of head and also died off quickly. One circle of lacing on the glass and not much else.
S-- Vanilla, dark plum, coconut, and soft bourbon. This smells very nice. Coconut gets more apparent as it gets more air and is more of a toasted coconut smell. No ABV smell to this at all.
T-- Bourbon forward. Get more dark fruits, vanilla blossom, honey and coconut.
M-- Smooth. Dairy milk chocolate smooth. Touches of hotness, booze and thinness here and there. Low carbonation and medium feel. Really not all that big. Honey is also apparent in the mouth. I think gives it that softer, smooth appeal.
O-- Really nice. Booze does hit you after a bit but really the 9.5 is really well hidden. not as thick as I thought it would be. There are a few thin gaps in this. Honey gets bigger as I have drank on in this. Not sure I am big on the honey. Would prefer to taste more of the oak barrel though. Would buy again though
04-27-2011 14:36:57 | More by mulder1010
3.88/5 rDev -10.4%
H: Dark Black
N: Chocolate, Bourbon, Vanilla
Three of these now tried and reviewed…..they all look similar, smell similar, and taste….well not so much. Starting to think I should have just stopped with the Purple Wax or Red Wax. Lighter body than the other two, and lets face it when the beer is that close, body is a lot. Good…..but my least favorite out of the group.
04-26-2011 17:59:32 | More by DosBeerigos
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
Poured into Bruery tulip at our little tasting last night and picked up on my recent trip to San Diego.
A pours a dark thick black with a little bit of a dark brown head. very thick as it almost slides into the glass
S: lots of bourbon and roasty malt with some chocolate and vanilla flavors. just a slight bourbon bite on the nose.
T: tons of rich bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and roasted malt. Huge rich flavor profile with a ton of depth of flavor. A fantastic big stout.
M: perfect amount of carbonation with a very smooth mouth feel. very very easy drinking for the ABV and style.
overall a very good stout and one of the better barrel aged stouts i've ever had. I can't wait for my futures this year.
04-17-2011 21:05:47 | More by psiweaver
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
Shared this Eclipse version at the bal stout tasting in the Nati.
Served in a snifter revealing a black with brownish tints when held to some light. Slight head that left a bit of lacing on my glass. Dark malts, bourbon, chocolate and dark fruits. Tasted very similar to the smells yet was not as boozy or "hot" as I or a couple of us thought it would be. I enjoyed the vanilla and bourbon flavors a lot. Very balanced with the bourbon and malts and a creamy mouthfeel that went down pretty smooth. Definitely enjoyed this version and will probably let this version sit in my cellar for another half year and share again. Surprised at how drinkable it was.
04-17-2011 16:40:02 | More by mistakebythelake
4.3/5 rDev -0.7%
Pours a nice reddish brown. Clear with a nice touch of head. Smells incredibly chocolatey with some light bourbon characteristics. Tastes similar. Lote of chocolaty malt on the tongue. Overall a thick solid mouthfeel that was pretty solid. Definitely very drinkable for a fresh imperial stout aged in bourbon. Barrels
04-16-2011 23:19:46 | More by Urbancaver
4.25/5 rDev -1.8%
A-nice black color with no head whatsoever
S-sweet burbon smell with a nice malty backbone
T-alot like it smells. More like a 4.25 and not a 4.0. Very mellow and smooth
M-medium body and smooth. Very nice
O-5.0 to make up for the taste to accuretly reflect my rating. Good brew
04-16-2011 23:01:52 | More by brew3crew
3.45/5 rDev -20.3%
Reviewed from notes. Bottle poured into tulip, black with brown edges tiny bubbly collar. Pretty run of the mill in terms of looks. Smells like bourbon water, malty biscuits, alcohol, buttery toffee, kind of nutty vanilla. Taste is hot and boozey at first, vanilla bourbon, oak, spicy barrel char, slight roast in the end. Medium bodied with a light carbonation, very hot and a bit watery for the style. A decent tasting beer despite the alcohol presence. The mouthfeel kills this beer for me.
04-16-2011 17:51:23 | More by nkersten
4.28/5 rDev -1.2%
Bottle picked up as a Future during last year's release. Served in a Bruery tulip.
Pours black with a light tan head. The nose immediately brings forward a heavy bourbon presence with a bit of chocolate and some roasted malt. A bit of booze is in the background. The flavor is loaded with smooth bourbon alongside a chocolate and roast presence. Really nice, and my favorite treatment of 2010 other than the Brandy. The oak, bourbon, booze, chocolate, and roast are all there, melding together nicely. Medium body with a slightly-boozy finish. Overall, damn good. Can't wait to see how this ages out.
* I had one bottle of this that was overly hot, but after two additional bottles that were spot on, I think the first one was probably an aberration.
04-12-2011 13:30:06 | More by Thorpe429
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
A LOT of hype around the Eclipse series. I told myself to take it easy with Eclipse, and what do you know, the opportunity presented itself at the Rose & Crown. Even more honoring was splitting the bottle with my collegue Ricardo, who helps run a Brazilian beer rating website (www.brejas.com.br). On to the beer:
Black, black, and black. Light isn't going to penetate through the body. A small tanned head forms, dropping away to a thin lace. The nose brings the barrel characterists. Here comes oak, vanilla, and molasses.
This is good, and the taste becomes even better as it warms. At times, I almost forgot that I was drinking a stout. Very heavy are the barrel characterstics. Flavors of honey, vanilla, oak, molasses, and evenutally a big kick of licorice and a gentle dose of dark chocolate. The body is smooth and seems medium heavy; it's not one to weigh you down or leaves tons of residue around your lips after you're done drinking it. The alcohol is inserted well, only coming up as a warming sensation in the throat.
I have good news, it's a very good beer. It still doesn't compell me to chase right after the rest of the Eclipse series, but if the opportunity is right, I'll be happy to experiment.
04-05-2011 05:32:20 | More by DoubleJ
4.33/5 rDev 0%
After a long week at work, I finally got a chance to relax, play some golf with a few buddies, and pop this monstrosity of a beer while hanging out with the family. Life is good. Cheers to all my brothers and sisters in the BA community, and to life in general...
Poured from a waxed bomber into a Cigar City pint glass...
A - Pours black with a one finger brown head on a fairly aggressive pour. head retention is decent at best, and there is some slippery lacing to be had...
S - This one smells delectable. Chocolate, vanilla, some roasted barley, and of course, a good dose of Bourbon...
T - Sweet and delicious. Chocolate, vanilla, oak, and smooth Bourbon in the finish. Really impressed with how smooth this one is...
M - Mouthfeel is a little light in my opinion. Still on the light side of a full body, but not as viscous as I was anticipating. Moderate amount of carbonation...
O - Almost a little to easy to drink. Haha, is there such a thing? Wouldn't go as far to call this a session beer, but very smooth and easy to drink nontheless. Pricey, but well worth the price in my opionin. Really looking foward to trying this again with a little age on it...
04-02-2011 02:59:14 | More by comfortablynumb1
District of Columbia
4.03/5 rDev -6.9%
Bottles shared by Lunch and Thorpe429. Thanks Paul and Mike!
The beer appears very dark brown, nearly black. The head is 1/4", and generates a fair amount of lacing on the glass.
The aroma brings bourbon and a general boozy quality, as well as roasted malt. Unsurprisingly, it smells like a barrel-aged stout.
I actually thought the beer tasted better than the aroma would have led me to believe. The beer is slightly sweet throughout, making this a good bottle for sharing a few ways, as one snifter was just right. Bourbon and roast are up front, with more subtle flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and coffee playing a secondary role.
The feel is medium bodied, with alcohol presence throughout, though not necessarily in a negative or distracting way.
Overall, a tasty brew, and one I would happily enjoy again.
04-01-2011 22:48:57 | More by Huhzubendah
5/5 rDev +15.5%
This beer pours an obsidian black color with a brown, thin but fluffy head. The head fades slowly, leaving very little lace.
This beer smells less aggressive than I was expecting. I detect, of course, bourbon. But I also detect raisins, vanilla, and chocolate.
This beer tastes like it smells. A lot more mild than I would expect. Raisins, chocolate, bourbon, dates, and vanilla all mix in wonderfully. It has a sweet malty backbone to it as well. This beer tastes amazing!
This beer is very thich and full bodied. The alcohol is present in the finish. It warms slightly on the way down. It leaves an oaky bourbon aftertaste.
This beer would not make a good session beer. It is a sipper for sure.
Overall: I think this is the best bourbon aged beer I have ever had. It is just amazing. I like how it isnt overly aggressive.
Bottle # 2131 of the 2010 vintage
04-01-2011 00:05:28 | More by OStrungT
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
353rd review on BA
bottle to tulip
Thanks to GuruDel for sharing this one
App- A good dark stout. Had a nice one finger head and left some nice cling to the side of my glass.
Smell- HUGE smelling stout. Big bourbon notes with the vanilla accents that I really like in my stouts.
Taste- A very sweet stout with the vanilla and oak taking center stage. The bourbon allowed the beer to open up and become a very good beer.
Mouth- For a stout of this nature it seemed a bit thin but still retained a nice medium body and a medium carbonation level to it.
Drink- I really liked this one and would love to try the other variants to see if that much of a different taste was imparted. A very good stout and I see what all the hub bub was about.
03-31-2011 16:09:59 | More by FosterJM
4.55/5 rDev +5.1%
Bottle into Bruery Tulip
Split a bottle with FosterJM
A: Jet black with a decent little head that fades quickly into an almost non-existant ring of small bubbles.
S: AMAZING. Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, just everything I love in a beer. Sweet notes of ice cream and more vanilla mixed with bourbon. A great smelling beer for sure
T: Follows the nose well, a fantastic combination of vanilla, bourbon and sweet chocolate. The first taste was amazing, followed by each taste being better than the previous. As this warmed the alcohol finally made it's presence known at the end, not hot, but perfectly tied in.
M: This is my only ding, it was a touch thin for me but that is really being picky. There was a slight bit of carbonation which was welcomed.
Overall: I am so glad I got to try this beer, and even more glad that I have another bottle. I am going to see if there are anymore around as I can see myself really going back to this beer multiple times.
03-31-2011 14:59:37 | More by GuruDel
4.28/5 rDev -1.2%
A: Dark inky black with no light gettin thru'
S: Oak, vanilla, Evan Williams bourbon, biscuity layered malts, dead green hops
T: Smoke, oak, bourbon, vanilla, liquers, dark fruit, hot stone
M: Liquid velvet. Like Egyptian cotton sheets.
O: As an Evan Williams loverI absolutely loved this stuff!
03-27-2011 06:42:27 | More by francisweizen
4.58/5 rDev +5.8%
22oz Bottle. #2179 - 2010 Evan Williams Edition (Black Wax)
Pours a dark coffee brown and settles to a thin mocha head, fades to razor thin ring. Carbonation is low, but not unusual for the style.
Definite bourbon barrel presence on the nose here. Oak, vanilla, whiskey, ice cream sandwich. Quite sweet smelling. Maybe a touch of alcohol, but very well hidden.
Wonderful flavor. It's like melted vanilla and chocolate ice cream lightly blended with sweet bourbon. Roasty malt in the background. Very well balanced and consistent throughout. Pleasant lingering finish.
I really like the feel of the beer as well. The carbonation is on the lower side, but it doesn't get too cloying and the alcohol is buried nicely. Quite drinkable.
This is the first version of this beer that I've tried. Looking forward to getting more variations of Eclipse in the future.
03-27-2011 01:56:42 | More by brotherloco
4.9/5 rDev +13.2%
Once again, many thanks to the folks at FiftyFifty for allowing us out-of-staters to purchase some of their fine brews.
Although I have a quibble: third time in a row, while engaged in a titantic struggle with 3" of wax, I've gouged myself hard enough to draw blood. Yikes! Definitely a hazard to health & hearth to get one of these bad-boys open. Bottle #232, popped open in a depressing March downpour that's due to turn to snow within a few hours. Spring in Minnesota!
Pours coal-dust black, split into two Darkness snifters for the wife & I. Smell is pure, heart-stopping perfection; a burst puffs outwards when I bludgeon wax & cap into submission, & I know immediately that this is going to be epic. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, malts. Beautiful.
Evan Williams Eclipse is close to the perfect crime against beer & barrels. High-end bourbon, flawless Noka chocolates, vanilla tended by a thousand paradise-bound virgins, wild oakiness, & tons of other things going on underneath, subtle antics my tongue can't even comprehend. After the taste charge, a warm, almost harsh wave of alcohol & Evan washes the subtleties away. The effect is almost like a smoothed-out, well-rounded bourbon, thought the overall taste is nothing like that. Perhaps I have ceased making sense.
Well, hell, this is one excellent beer. The only better in the series thus far was the '09 Heaven Hill, which sidled up hard to perfection. This one isn't far off either. Amazing beer; sad to only have one more. I'd like to offer FiftyFifty brewing space in my basement if they ever need an outpost in Minnesota.
03-23-2011 02:35:12 | More by maximum12
3.68/5 rDev -15%
Black wax. Bottle #1237, 2010 vintage. Thanks to DankTheTank for this. Poured into a snifter.
3.0 A: Black color. I could only muster about a finger of creamy light brown head that falls quickly and leaves a small ring of lacing.
4.0 S: The bourbon and barrel are the strongest components of the nose. Leather and melon bourbon, good amount of vanilla, and oak to a lesser extent. The underlying stout doesn't contribute enough to match up with the bourbon notes, but I can still pick some stuff out. Roasted barley, molasses, caramel and toffee to a lighter extent, and some milk chocolate. I'd rather have the stout kick the bourbon's ass, but it's still pretty good.
3.5 T: The taste unfortunately follows the nose. I really love bourbon barrel stouts, but the best kind take a killer stout and complement it with a bourbon touch. In this one, the bourbon is the headliner and the stout is just the opening act. Bourbon components are leather, lots of vanilla, raisin and fig, melon, peat, and just a touch boozy. Stout contributes roasted barley, milk chocolate, molasses, and a touch of caramel. Not as robust as I'd prefer.
3.5 M: Medium body, a bit thin for my liking. Carbonation is a bit lower than I prefer, but is alright overall. Could be creamier, but is pretty smooth. Warming on finish, but not hot.
4.0 D: This is a bourbon drinker's beer. The stout isn't all that impressive, but the barrel aging is well done. I'd be curious to taste what the stout is like without the bourbon influence. Anyway, there isn't a hint of astringency from the barrel. Easy drinking though. It's beers like these that make me want to appreciate bourbon more, but at the end of the day, I want a thick and rich stout and in that regard, this one doesn't pull through.
03-13-2011 02:03:23 | More by DavoleBomb
4.33/5 rDev 0%
22 oz. black wax topped bottle from Southbay Drugs. Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter. A friend is transcribing my dictation of this review as I lay in bed, too lazy to type.
Appearance: A black waxed bottle for a black, waxy beer. This one pours a dark brownie-hued body, capped by half a finger of slightly less brownie-hued head. Retention is lacking, but not atrocious, fading into a thin crisp lace and some breaths of dusting on the surface. Minimal carbonation is visible around the outside of the snifter.
Aroma: Fudge and barrel notes dominate the nose, mingling with lighter and darker malts. Cocoa is strong, sweet but authentic, and does a lot to cover up much of the harsh spirit qualities. Cherries, dark fruits, and coconut mingle with green oak on top of the fudge foundation, with toast and relatively authentic coffee beneath. Vanilla is also present, mingling with spiciness and a kiss of char beneath a surprisingly faint (at least, relatively) dash of bourbon.
Taste: Less sweet than one would expect from the nose, though cocoa is still the dominant note here it is more of a bittersweet presence the bitterness of which is augmented by astringencies in the malt base. They're not harsh, but definitely present though they play well off of the bourbon. Dark fruits contribute a measure of sweetness as well, though on the whole the beer is fairly balanced with the malts providing a neutral palette. Barrel characteristics are less noticeable here than in the nose, though some vanilla does emerge as it warms as does some leathery coconut. Similar to the nose, the bourbon is very mature- definitely spicy, only faintly warming, and even a touch sweet. Showcases most of the elements of an excellent bourbon barrel imperial stout.
Mouthfeel: First, the bad: it is thin, with minimal carbonation. Either of those things on their own would have been a huge problem, but together, they are only a problem worthy of a one point reduction, as the beer is neither cloying nor erratic. Second, the good: the amount of attenuation results in a pretty good thickness that works well with the flavor profile itself neither too sweet nor too dry.
Drinkability: Not the most drinkable imperial stout I have ever had, nor the most drinkable bourbon barrel aged imperial stout I have ever had. There are some definite astringencies present, the retention and lacing leave plenty to be desired, the mouth is a little thin, and the astringency is distracting. The ABV is not outrageous but should be respected-I know that I definitely shouldn't have started it at 11:30 at night. All in all, an enjoyable beer that I imagine fifty/fifty will only perfect over the coming years, though at the present I think it is possibly slightly overrated.
03-08-2011 05:52:40 | More by CrellMoset
4/5 rDev -7.6%
Pours black with a finger of head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles.
Aroma is rich toffee sweetness, toasted malt, marshmallow, oak, booze, and some floral character. Huge aroma.
The flavor is roasted malt and burnt toast up front, with a dry oaky finish. Lots of bitter dark chocolate. The oakiness and booze are a bit astringent.
The body is fuller than medium but not quite what I would call creamy. Low carbonation which I prefer in a stout.
Overall this beer was pretty nice, but the flavor didn't live up to the fine aroma. Just a bit too harsh to get to that "next level." Still, I definitely recommend it to lovers of barrel aged stouts.
03-07-2011 05:39:35 | More by alcstradamus
4.2/5 rDev -3%
Lunch opened this bottle recently. Beer poured into a Darkness snifter (gifted to me by Lunch). Beer is black with a tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, looks like a beer.
Aroma is sweet with a mild liquorness about it. Very great. Some roast, mostly malt. Smells good.
Beer is medium in body and overall sweet. The first thing I taste is the sweetness followed by a nice booziness without the heat. This beer finishes adequately heavy as to not dry out the bitterness at the end. It is very drinkable and a pleasure. Thanks Lunch.
03-03-2011 19:19:57 | More by drabmuh
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.